IT IS not just about flying an aircraft, but more about managing an aircraft and saving lives: This was the point reiterated by seasoned pilot and instructor Captain V. Ranganathan at the session for offbeat careers at the recently organised The Hindu Education Plus career fair."To be a pilot you have to be part of a team," Mr. Ranganathan told students and parents.The point has gained importance among recruiters in particular after the September 11 terrorist hijacking of aircraft and attack on the World Trade Centre. Stressing the need to avoid ego clashes while at the controls, he recalled an instance where he himself fell prey to his ego and steered the plane straight into a cyclone."It is not enough if you are a good pilot with excellent technical grounding. But if your CRM (Crew Resource Management) skills are bad, you are not a good pilot," he emphasised.Dinesh Kumar, director of Chennai Airport, told the audience that an "airport is a complex economic set-up," akin to a small township with all the sectors — from food to telecom — actively present. "This means that there is scope for any of you to land a job in an airport," he said.Cargo handling, he said, is one of the areas that are highly underrated.The `Dangerous Regulations Course', would give a better idea to aspirants wanting to get into airport management. As for getting training and an internationally recognised pilot's licence, Mr. Ranganathan advised students with "perfect hearing" and a science background to go to Canada. "It is cheapest there," he said, adding that plans were afoot to fill the gap in flying school capacities in India.SANDHYA SOMAN